12 September 2008

Half price

Back in college, I took a bunch of psychology classes. One of them talked about why gambling is so addictive and I heard Dr. Ray mention this as I was driving home from bible study yesterday. Something to do with the erratic rewards system. If you always win or always lose, there is no fun in playing. But, if you sometimes hit the jack-pot, it illicits a very strong response the encourages you to keep dumping your money into the machine.

I've come to find that it holds true for used book stores too. That outside chance that I just might stumble onto something keeps me coming back. There must be a 12-step program for used book store addicts.

Just before Labor Day, Half Price Books had a sale. Typically, going to the bookstore is something we do as a family, but I got the kids all dressed and hoofed across town to see if the store in Maplewood (even though there is a store about a mile away) might still have the book I wanted but hadn't purchased the prior weekend, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, by Thomas Woods.

I've had the best luck at the store in Roseville, but on this day, I scored. The book was still there AND I got an older, but like-new copy of the Jerome Biblical Commentary. I carried this tome around the store for about a half hour trying to determine whether it was a good idea to buy based on some things I had previously read in it (see here for an EWTN critique), but since it was only around $10, I figured it was good to have to compare, being aware of the concerns, with my other commentaries. And, when would I have the opportunity to buy another copy at this price?

I know from being a seasoned garage sale shopper that I have to grab items when I see them, let the excitement pass, and then ask myself the difficult question about whether I really need the item or not. Sometimes being a bargain shopper and loving a great deal, while simultaneously attempting to be frugal and prudent, are conflicting agendas!

I also got the kids a great art-related jigsaw puzzle book. The pictures are very vibrant and large (it's an oversized book) so you get a good feel for the artist and painting. It only covers four artists: Bellini, Botticelli, Raphael (my favorite) and Titian (close second favorite!).

When I lived in Portland and had Powell's bookstore just a few miles away, I spent many weekends there. Those of you familiar with Powell's will understand my love of the store and what fostered my addiction! Carpe libris!!


Adoro te Devote said...

Oh, Swissie, I'm so disappointed in you. Buying, of all things, a Jerome Bible Commentary!??? OK...next time you think you want to buy a commentary, send me a note and I'll send you a list of GOOD commentaries that WOULDN'T make dear St. Jerome roll in his grave!

swissmiss said...

I was tempted beyond my ability to resist!!! Isn't that what all addicts say ;-} I do have some good Navarre and other commentaries, along with the online Haydock, so my apologies to the good saint on buying the commentary so ill-suited to bear his name!

I've been duly chastised, but at least I admitted I bought it, so I'm on the first step in my recovery.

mum6kids said...

I have the St Jerome Com. I use it with care. I do have to agree with the EWTN view of it. Shame really because it's a huge book!
When I was studying for my MA we had to go up to the Uni for weekends. One of my fellow students was from Ireland so she would catch a flight over to England and bring all the stuff we had to bring with her; Bible, Catechism and the St Jerome. Well there she was shoving the books into those little lockers above the seats when suddenly the door of the think flew open and all three massive books fell out-into some poor man's lap!
"I don't think he was a Christian!" she told me.
"I think God was trying to get his attention then." I replied.

Congratulations on starting your homeschooling. Have fun.
God bless

ArchAngel's Advocate said...

As with any reference, you should not limit yourself to 1 source. The JBC is a good source for understanding the enviroment in which a given piece of Scripture was written. I wouldn't use it as a source of the Church's understanding of Scripture, any more than I would use the Anchor Bible for the same purpose.